Thursday, June 26, 2014
Draft Eve, Big 43
On a more serious note, tomorrow night is the first round of the 2014 NHL Entry draft. With Columbus picking 16th, any player selected is likely to have some development needs. We are making the transition to a franchise that can afford to give players the proper amount of time to develop, and in my mind this draft is just another shot in the arm to the pipeline. We have a group of players emerging from juniors and the European leagues converging on Springfield for some AHL development time. This draft will result in a restock of the players developing in Juniors. The rule of thumb for all of these players is that you must kick the door down to make it to the big club, because all seats are occupied.
Its possible that a trade could emerge, but I kind of doubt it. And I am happy with the notion that we use the picks we have, and take advantage of the group of scouts that Jarmo has assembled. I like the notion of back pressure in the pipeline. It's very healthy for the franchise.
The other thing that emerged today is that Scott Hartnell has decided to wear number 43. I think that is interesting, as the players who have worn this number before are a group of unremarkable tweeners (between the AHL and the NHL). Hartnell has an opportunity to make that number magical in CBJ lore, and his charity #Hartnelldown already has shirts for sale with the number.
Speaking of that, the Dispatch writers on their Cannonfodder podcast revealed that Hartnell's charity has already paid for 10 AAA Blue Jackets to attend an elite hockey camp this summer. The guy is already investing in youth hockey in this City, which is a great thing to see. Kudos there Hartsy. Well done. I also loved the quote that Jarmo tossed to Porty. We'll see if he uses it in his write-up on Saturday. Yes, I know I am doing 'things that make Morgan mad' by using those nicknames, but I'm too lazy to write it all out, and the prose becomes too stilted anyway. So deal with it.
The offseason has picked up pace lately, and is becoming more entertaining. We get a lot more to think about in the next two days, and then free agency hits. Gonna be a fun week.